How to get your garden ready for spring

Blair Dohey
By April spring is in full swing and it’s the perfect time of year to start planning your garden. Get a head start on your garden planning and planting with these simple steps. Starting early means a more organized and less costly garden.
The sure signs of spring are upon us. The days are getting longer, the sun is getting stronger and the will to be outside, soaking up nature as it awakens, grows within us all. It’s an amazing time of year, especially for the greenthumbs of the world. Whether you have a small backyard balcony or enough terrain to fill with flowers, vegetables and more, here are a few tips on getting started on your garden.
Plan your outdoor escape
While it still may be too cold to really get your hands dirty in the soil, now is the best time to plan what you’d like to plant or pot this season. From color schemes to succulent scents, everyone’s vision of their garden is a little different. Some go-getting gardeners may have already gotten started on planning their work ahead in the coming months, but don’t let that deter you from starting now! You can still head to a gardening center and sort through what you’d like to see grow through the spring sunshine.
Toil through the soil
Once you have an idea of what you want to grow in your garden, the next step is laying down some fresh soil. Many grocery stores and hardware stores have already lined up their palettes of potting soil and fertilizers so starting with a bag or two might be easier than grabbing it all at once. As the frost begins to wane from the topsoil in your garden, it will be time to dig in and mix up the earth, allowing some much needed oxygen in to get things breathing. Adding a little fresh soil will also help add the nutrients you will need to see your efforts bloom.
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Greenthumb germination
Depending on how far south you live, the most ideal time to start collecting your plants and flowers will be towards the end of April or early May. For most potted plants, the ideal temperature for survival will be a minimum of 50℉ at night. Some bushes and more robust flowers will be available for those of us who are impatient to get gardening. However, germinating from seedlings will require a warm interior environment to avoid losing what you’ve just brought home after a cold couple of nights.
Top tip:
Disposable plastic germination containers are available year-round on many gardening centers or wherever gardening supplies are sold. They will get your gardening started on the right foot but be sure to recycle your containers once you’re done with them.
Plant the garden, watch it grow
By mid May, you should have most of your garden already planted and in some cases even growing a little. Adding plenty of water daily, especially if the afternoon sun is directly beaming down onto your garden, is imperative. As spring rolls into summer and the mercury rises, you’ll want to pay attention not only to the sun and water but also regular weeding if your garden is ground level. Plus, don’t forget to keep pests away!
Top tip:
Cayenne pepper is a great deterrent for little critters such as squirrels who love to dig into fresh soil. It keeps them away without harming them but be sure to keep the pepper off of your plants leaves. Add too much and the cayenne pepper could damage them.